Vice President of ANCSA and Community Affairs
Chugach Alaska Corporation
Originally from Cordova, Alaska, Katherine is a shareholder and employee of Chugach Alaska Corporation. She is Inupiat from the Bering Straits region. She began her career at Chugach in 2005 and has worked for her corporation in nine different roles, but most recently as the Vice-President of Operations for Chugach’s commercial business line. Besides serving as co-chair of the Native American Contractors Association she also serves as a local board member of the Selective Service System for the State of Alaska.
Katherine holds a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Alaska and a graduate certificate in Alaska Native Executive Leadership from the Alaska Pacific University. She is a recent graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Katherine and her husband Jason have four beautiful children and live in Eagle River, Alaska.
Chief Executive Officer of Command Holdings
A sustainable, self-sufficient economic development arm of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
Before joining Command Holdings, Jon had spent his professional career in finance and Native American economic development, working with/for Native-owned corporations, Community Development Financial Institutions, the Federal government, and banks. He has held such positions as the former Chief Compliance and Business Integration Officer of Koniag Government Services, President and CEO of the Kodiak Brown Bear Center, Colville Tribal Solutions Corporation, Willapa Bay Enterprises Corporation and First Nations Oweesta Corporation, Northwest Zone Credit Manager for the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development- Division of Capital Investments at the Department of the Interior, and Vice President at Native American Bank.
Jon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with departmental honors from Eastern Washington University (EWU). Jon also graduated with a Master of Public Administration from EWU. In addition, he has completed industry-focused programs at the University of Washington, the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, and Harvard Business School. He is completing his Ph.D. at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.
SVP of Community Investments of Afognak
Dr. Malia Villegas is an enrolled member of the Native Village of Afognak in Alaska, where she also serves on the Tribal Council. Dr. Villegas serves as the Senior Vice President of Community Investments at Afognak Native Corporation, where she oversees shareholder services, government relations, advocacy, public relations, marketing, and impact measurement. As an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Village Corporation, Afognak seeks to foster long-term community sustainability through economic development. Dr. Villegas also serves on the Tribal Nations Advisory Council of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES); on the Board for Data for Indigenous Justice that seeks to address the crisis of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; on the Research Advisory Committee for GenomeCanada; as well as on several other boards and advisory councils.
Prior to joining Afognak Native Corporation, her past experience includes serving as the Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Policy Research Center (2011-2016). Dr. Villegas received her Doctorate in Education and Master's degree in Education from Harvard University, as well as dual Bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University.
General Manager, Mohawk Networks
Allyson Mitchell is the GM of Mohawk Networks, LLC, an ISP owned by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Section 17 Holding Company, the Tewathahonni Corporation. Mitchell is responsible for the long-term success of the fiber and wireless broadband provider, certified as an 8(a) entity by the Small Business Administration. The community’s adoption trajectory of broadband increased at a rate that impacted reliability of the first generation network, and in her role, she has focused on investing in the core network, adding redundancy, capacity and higher availability to secure infrastructure for the community of Akwesasne, it’s tribal members, and the future demands of the next generation. Distance learning, virtual healthcare and e-commerce demands drive the strategic direction of the company, delivered by a highly-skilled workforce. Under Mitchells’ leadership, the company has steadily focused on economic diversification, sustainability and influencing tribal broadband priorities for Indian Country. Mitchell represents the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe as an appointee on the FCC’s Native Nations Communications Task Force and as a Board Member for the Native American Contractors Association.
CEO/President of Chenega
Charles W. Totemoff was raised in the village of Chenega until it was devastated by a tsunami in 1964. With the village destroyed, his family was forced to relocate to Tatitlek and Cordova, Alaska. When the Chenega village was finally reestablished 20 years later, Mr. Totemoff returned to Chenega.
Mr. Totemoff was elected to the Chenega board of directors in 1983. In 1988, Mr. Totemoff was named Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chenega Corporation, a position he has held continuously since then. He also serves as Chairman of the Chenega IRA Council, a federally recognized tribe.
Mr. Totemoff has been a leader in Alaska Native social and economic policy throughout his career. He is a champion of Native rights, especially in areas that increase economic opportunity and prosperity in Native communities. He serves on the board of directors of the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association and the Native American Contractors Association. He received a B.A. in Organizational Management, a Certificate in Professional Management, Accounting & Finance, and a M.B.A. from Alaska Pacific University.
Chair of the Nakupuna Foundation and President of Nakupuna Services.
She brings more than 20 years of experience managing government contracts in the areas of environmental engineering and facilities support services.
Prior to the Nakupuna Companies, Cariann began her career working for a large government contractor. Initially hired as a project accountant, Cariann provided program controls management for over $100M of contracted work after a just few short years and rose through the ranks by demonstrating a passion for learning new disciplines and eagerness to assume additional responsibility. She has a proven track record of success in operations management for all major areas supporting contracts and programs, such as: project portfolio management; plan and report development; resource planning; cost and schedule management; risk and change management; client, regulator, and stakeholder engagement; and operational support.
In 2011, Cariann stepped away from her career with large, public companies to lead the environmental services division of small business where she would have a much more direct impact for her company and clients. During that time, Cariann was recruited by her father to help relaunch the first Nakupuna company, Na Aliʻi, as a full-service government contractor shortly before the company received its Native Hawaiian Organization-owned 8(a) certification from the Small Business Administration. Excited by the challenge of starting a business and the opportunity to help Native Hawaiians, Cariann jumped on board. Since then, Cariann has been integral in building the Nakupuna Companies into a successful enterprise poised for long-term success.
Cariann has a passion for supporting Native Hawaiians advancement and Hawaii economic development, more broadly. In addition to her role with the Nakupuna Foundation, Cariann is a regular volunteer for a variety of local causes and can often be found on weekends pulling invasive weeds at Loko Ea, a historic Hawaiian fishpond on the North Shore of Oahu.
Cariann earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California; is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP); and has been honored by Hawaii Business Magazine as a recipient of the 20 for the Next 20 award, which recognizes people expected to have the biggest impact in Hawaii over the next two decades..
VP of Corporate Development at Bering Straits Native Corporation
As Vice President of Corporate Development, Haven Harris is responsible for decisions related to business development, contract capture and corporate support services. He will work with Senior Executives to evaluate and implement best business practices to most efficiently maneuver resources from identification of opportunities through contract award. Harris formerly served as Senior Director of Strategic Business Development.
Harris first began working for BSNC in 2008. He has more than 14 years of government contracting and business development experience. Prior to rejoining BSNC in 2021, Harris served as Vice President of Business Development for St. George Tanaq Corporation. He currently serves on the Alaska Native Heritage Center Board of Directors, The Alaska Community Foundation Board of Directors, the NACA Board of Directors, and formerly served on the boards of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and Sitnasuak Native Corporation.
Harris earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Harris was born and raised in Nome and is an enrolled tribal member of the Nome Eskimo Community.
Chief of Staff at Hawaiian Native Corporation
Steve Li joined DAWSON in 2021 as Corporate Counsel for the Hawaiian Native Corporation (HNC), DAWSON Operating Companies parent company. In 2022 Steve Li was promoted to Executive Director for the HNC. In 2023 Steve Li was promoted to Chief of Staff for the HNC. His operational duties include the management and overall success of the HNC, through developing strong client relations, accurate financial management, comprehensive compliance, advocacy, and effective strategic planning of the parent company HNC which oversees Dawson Company lines of 1,200 + employees. In addition to his operational management duties, Steve Li brings a Top-Secret Clearance background as a retired Federal Agent of 20 years, State Director for Congressman Kai Kahele, and a licensed attorney in the State of Hawaii. Mr. Li’s spirit and vision to the organization, and perpetuates DAWSON’s core values of Kuleana, ‘Ohana, and Aloha to our clients, partners, and community.
Steve Li grew up in Mililani, HI and graduated from Punahou School. Steve Li was a standout athlete in Hawaii and named State Player of the Year in Boys Volleyball and First Team All-ILH in Boys Soccer. He received a B.A, Finance from the University of Southern California, while being the co-captain of the men’s Volleyball team as a scholarship student-athlete. He also played for the U.S. Men’s National Team, was a member of the U.S. Olympic Festival, and played professional beach volleyball in local, national & international tournaments. He returned to his hometown in Mililani, Hawaii to attend William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii. He went on to a distinguished career as a Federal Agent and led numerous complex Fraud investigations and Whistleblower/False Claims Act case investigations with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, various U.S. Government Agencies including FBI, DEA, IRS, OIG, NCIS, GSA, among others. Steve Li proudly supports the activities of DAWSON’s parent company, Hawaiian Native Corporation (HNC), a Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO), and assists the HNC Board in carrying out their mission to benefit the Native Hawaiian community. Steve Li is extremely passionate about giving back to the Native Hawaiian community and enjoys volunteering his time with his family at activities benefiting community and various Hawaiian organizations. In his personal time, enjoys family time with his wife, Pumehana Li, and kid’s activities.
President and CEO at Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation
Dr. Brower’s business and employment experience include serving the past year as the Senior Advisor to the University of Alaska focusing on Alaska Native Success, Institutional Diversity, and Student Engagement. Prior to this work, she ran her own consulting business focused on strategic planning and leadership development, and worked for Iļisaġvik College, Alaska’s only tribal college, from 2007 to 2020, eight of those years serving as President.
Pearl received her Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Leadership from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) (2016); has a Master’s degree in Alaska Native and Rural Development, UAF (2010); and also obtained a double Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Alaska Native Studies, UAF (2004). In 2018 Brower received her Associate of Arts Degree in Iñupiaq Studies from Iļisaġvik College.
Pearl has served on many boards and commissions throughout Alaska, and the nation including the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Storyknife Writer’s Retreat, The Foraker Group Operations, and Governance Boards; Alaska Airlines Community Advisory Board, and the AlaskaCAN! Network Board of Directors. Brower was an Alaska Top 40 Under 40 Recipient, awarded the First Alaskans Institute Young Native Leader Award, and was recognized by the YWCA as a Woman of Achievement.